Today, I can honestly say education has a new meaning in my life, as my new principle of life is now “education is power.” The many ways it has changed me is remarkable, even in my own mind, and in the past, this thought never ever felt possible. There are no longer feelings of defeat and helplessness in the day-after-day thought process. Instead, on a daily basis, the center of attention surrounds different observations of larger aspirations for the future. Unlike in the past, there are dreams and goals to achieve that are possible because of the new critical thinking process this educational journey now instills in everyday life.
In the past, a stumble or failure in life became a reason to give up on any particular issue or project, to include a higher education, with a “can’t” type of attitude. However, today that belief is different with a “don’t quit” type of attitude, no matter what. Eventually, after 15 college credits, I was eligible for the Kates Foundation scholarships and began to take both onsite and correspondence courses with their help. Several college courses led to better critical thinking. There is a chance that like me, others will see along the way that “change is possible,” with some effort and hard work.
Today in life, the new belief is never give up even if things get a little complicated. Nothing worth having in life is easy getting, and in hindsight, sometimes, the struggle is the benefit.
“We don’t care where you come from, but we do care where you’re going.”
I have been incarcerated since 2003 for some illogical choices. Quickly it became evident that some changes are necessary to leave prison and become a productive citizen once again. I can tell you that my educational journey has not been easy; however, today I have obtained 60 college credits and I am currently in three college courses to add to my college credits. I am grateful for the assistance and guidance from my family, prison officials, and the Kates Foundation in achieving a new outlook on life. It would not have been possible without them. The Kates Foundation has given me the opportunity to continue receiving college courses in the worst of times. I can assure anyone that I am not the same woman today that walked into prison over ten years ago without an education.
Today I have dreams of a wonderful future once released from prison. To be able to go home and show my children, family and friends that change is possible is what I hold dear in my heart. If I could spread any advice to others in my situation, it would be as follows, “Education and knowledge is the true power in life as it is the one thing that will not only benefit the future, but it can never be taken away.”
I would like to personally thank every member of the Kates Foundation for all their efforts to educate women in prison. It is a fact that so many of us women have always felt we just were not good enough, smart enough, or wise enough to do any better in life and that’s simply not the case. With a helping hand and a little hard work, anything is possible.
What Kates does, from the Ladies